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    papaf's Avatar
    papaf Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jul 30, 2007, 09:10 PM
    How much can IRS garnish from Social Security?
    I was wondering how much the IRS can garnish from my social security check? I owe back taxes and they just sent me a letter stating they are going to take almost 45% of my social security check. It is going to leave me unable to pay my rent and utilities. Can they really take up to almost 50%. I read somewhere that they can only take up to 25%. Any help would be great.

    Thanks.
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #2

    Jul 31, 2007, 01:33 PM
    Papaf:

    If you can show that such a garnishment will make it impossible for you to pay your rent and utilities, you can petition to have your Social Security benefits made immune from garnishment.

    Contact the Taxpayer's Advocate. You can get the phone number from the IRS website (www.irs.gov).
    mr.yet's Avatar
    mr.yet Posts: 1,725, Reputation: 176
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    #3

    Jul 31, 2007, 01:44 PM
    ZERO, NOTHING.

    Safe from Garnishment



    Federal law makes Social Security benefits exempt from levy, garnishment, and assignment- 42 USC 407(a) states. "In general the right of any future payments under this sub chapter SHALL NOT be Transferable or assignable. AND NONE of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this subchapter shall be subject to execution, levey, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law".

    This means that even if a creditor or debt attorney, collection agency has a judgement against you they CAN NOT garnish your SS payments nor can they take the money from you after it has been paid to you; for example, the portion of your bank account that is attributable to your SS benefits is EXEMPT from LEVY OR ATTACHMENT
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #4

    Jul 31, 2007, 02:02 PM
    I agree with Mr. Yet, provided the SS benefits constitute the bulk of your monthly income. Under recent revisions of the tax code, if the IRS can show that SS benefits merely supplement your income and are not needed to maintain you at a set standard of living, then they are fair game for garnishment to pay back taxes.

    In other words, you must depend on your SS benefits for your livelihood.

    The IRS was threatening to garnish a client's SS benefits under this law revision. I had to submit the required paperwork for a client several years back to show that she needed the SS benefits to survive. Once this paperwork was submitted, the IRS backed off on the garnishment threat.

    They STILL send her an annual statement showing her the taxes owed (plus continually accruing penalties and interest); at last check it was at $26K. If she ever wins the state lottery or receives some other type of windfall, the IRS will be there to collect their money, but her SS benefits are safe until that happens.
    eileenmcnulty38's Avatar
    eileenmcnulty38 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Dec 10, 2010, 05:56 PM
    The levy put a hold on my fathers money and the bank sent them his whole check and now all his bills did not go through and he is 200 negative in the bank. He don't have money to eat or pay his rent. I don't want him to be in the street. He didn't file his taxes in 1996 and 1997 so now they are taking all of his money. I don't know what to do. Can you please help me?
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #6

    Dec 13, 2010, 10:31 AM
    Eileen:

    The IRS probably filed the returns for 1996 and 1997 for him, using the W-2 and 1099 income reports that were filed with him. They file these returns THE WORST WAY POSSIBLE.

    The easiest way to handle this is to amend those returns to file them the way they were supposed to be filed. Do you have any records or IRS-generated tax transcripts that shows his income for those years? It is possible that, properly filed, the returns will show little or NO tax due.

    Contact me at [email protected] for further consultation.
    greenmile's Avatar
    greenmile Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Feb 11, 2011, 09:44 AM
    I owe back taxes but am now on social security, drawing only $834.00 with $64.00 going to pay on my Tri-Care co-pay. I am still paying on my home which is $587.04 so you can see how much I have left to live on not a lot. Can it be garnished by the IRS. Thank you.
    gianis's Avatar
    gianis Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Jan 6, 2012, 03:48 PM
    I am retired, unable to find any employment and receiving Social Security Retirement Benefits. I recently allowed my landlord to debit my account for my rent payment. IRS began debiting my account this summer and I have not enough money to pay my rent. I fear that I will be evicted if I cannot come up with money to bring the monthly deficiencies current.

    The IRS continues to increase monthly debits. Is this allowable? Under what conditions would they allow me to adjust payments?
    Fretfully,
    Almost Out MO
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #9

    Jan 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
    Gianis:

    As noted earlier, if you can show that such a garnishment will make it impossible for you to pay your rent and utilities, you can petition to have your Social Security benefits made immune from garnishment.

    Contact the Taxpayer's Advocate. You can get the phone number from the IRS website (www.irs.gov).
    davidjparker's Avatar
    davidjparker Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Nov 18, 2012, 01:36 PM
    Tell that to the IRS they started taking out 274.00 dollars from ss and the one day the up it to 1000.dollars
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #11

    Nov 19, 2012, 09:01 AM
    The burden of proof is on the taxpayer. They have to show that SS is critical to their daily survival.

    If they fail to show that, then the IRS can and will garnish SD benefits.
    tdavid98's Avatar
    tdavid98 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Mar 27, 2013, 02:33 PM
    As OF FEB2011, they can now levy to garnish up to 15%
    Thanks, Obama! Squeeze the elderly dry in order to flush America down... with our economy. Live it up until you die Mr pres.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #13

    Mar 27, 2013, 02:48 PM
    This is a political comment, not an answer which hasn't been given before.

    If you are anti-Obama (or anti or pro anybody) go over to the discussion board and discuss away! Otherwise this is a Q and A site.

    There are exceptions to the 15% or any levy as clearly stated by professionals earlier in this thread.
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #14

    Mar 27, 2013, 03:04 PM
    Well said, Judy!
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #15

    Mar 27, 2013, 03:58 PM
    Thank you - you know I have a great deal of respect for you, your answers, the time you spend, the research you do, and this has brightened up what hasn't been a terribly good day!
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
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    #16

    Mar 27, 2013, 04:10 PM
    You are TOO kind! :-)
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #17

    Mar 28, 2013, 06:49 AM
    Nope, I'm honest - you answer and research and answer and research and get very little recognition.
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,834, Reputation: 846
    Senior Tax Expert
     
    #18

    Mar 28, 2013, 08:00 PM
    Judy,

    I get compensated in other ways.

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